VAWA Immigration Lawyer in San Jose

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Attorney Medya Ansari is a VAWA immigration lawyer in San Jose who is ready to assist you.

Getachew & Ansari Immigration Attorneys, P.C. is a law firm committed to assisting those who have experienced violence and abuse in protecting their immigration rights. For immediate assistance, contact us now. Confidentiality is our number one priority.

Help From a VAWA Attorney

Immigrants are especially at risk of domestic violence and sexual assault. If you are a domestic abuse survivor, you have important rights. We assist women, men, and children.

You may wonder about your immigration status. Does leaving your abuser mean losing your immigration status? What can you do to protect yourself? Will my abuser find out? How would this impact the abuser? 

You can have help from a VAWA immigration lawyer. Let us evaluate your case — you may qualify to adjust your status because of family abuse or violence. Our immigration law firm serving San Jose can take care of everything.

Who do we help?

VAWA Immigration Lawyer San JoseWe help:

  • Wives
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Husbands

who have been harmed by a U.S. citizen or lawful resident immediate family member

What is VAWA Immigration?

VAWA immigration is acquiring lawful resident status in the United States after experiencing domestic abuse. It applies when the perpetrator of violence is a close relative who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. United States law protects the rights of domestic abuse survivors. VAWA self-petition allows those experiencing family violence to remain in the United States without needing a sponsor.

The Violence Against Women Act and immigration

The Violence Against Women Act was enacted in 1994 and renewed several times. Although it affects immigration, it is broader than that, as it also protects housing for abuse survivors in the United States.

How a VAWA Lawyer Can Assist

As your lawyer, we can:

  • Evaluate how VAWA may protect you in your situation.
  • Determine what documents you need and prepare them for you.
  • Gather supporting documents for your application.
  • Respond to bars to adjustment or grounds for inadmissibility.
  • Answer your questions.
  • Make sure that your application gets submitted to the right place.
  • Look at all possibilities and options for your situation.
  • Use our legal experience for your best interests.

Grant of VAWA petition based on family violence is discretionary. Immigration officials choose who merits the exercise of favorable discretion and who gets denied. That makes it important to have a competent lawyer handling your application.

Violence Immigration Protections

To qualify for immigration protections as a domestic violence survivor, you must:

  • Have a qualifying relationship with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (the marriage must have been in good faith and valid)
  • Be married, divorced within two years, or a widow(er)
  • Suffered family violence, as defined by the law (emotional and/or physical)
  • Not have any disqualifying criminal conditions, bars to adjustment, or grounds for inadmissibility (unless a waiver applies)

What if I am not living with the abuser? Can I still apply for VAWA immigration then?

VAWA immigration does not depend on living with an abusive spouse or other family member at the time of filing. You may apply while you are married or for up to two years after. You may apply even if you are separated.

Even if the offending spouse or child may have lost their status, that would not disqualify you if you file within the two-year limit.


Our experienced team of immigration attorneys can manage all the paperwork and challenges on your behalf. Book a consultation.
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What crimes qualify for VAWA immigration adjustment?

Examples of crimes qualifying for VAWA immigration adjustment include:

  • Assault and battery, domestic violence
  • Sexual assault, rape (criminal sexual conduct)
  • Child abuse
  • Trafficking, exploitation
  • Stalking, intimidating, coercion, threats
  • Extreme cruelty (may include verbal abuse, isolation, emotional degradation)

Self-Petitioning for Violence Survivors

If you have experienced violence, you can self-petition for a green card. Your abuser does not have to know or agree to it. You do not need any sponsor.

The purpose of VAWA immigration is to free you from dependence on the abusive person, allowing you to leave an abusive or unsafe situation.

How to Self-Petition for VAWA Protections

  • Submit Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant.
  • Submit Form I-485 (You may qualify to file Form I-360 and Form I-485 together. Also, you may convert Form I-485 to a self-petition if the abuser filed an I-130 for you.)
  • Submit the required supporting documentation.
  • You may receive an I-797 Notice of Action confirming receipt of your application. Subsequently, you may also receive notice of a prima facie case. By itself, that is not approval, but it may give you access to certain benefits. You may receive work authorization while your case is pending.
  • For work authorization, submit Form I-765
  • For travel outside the United States, submit Form I-131
  • Pay fees for your application and complete biometrics processing.

Supporting documents are quite extensive, including photographs, government-issued identity documents, birth certificates, and other documents as required. As your lawyer, we will determine what documents you need and assist you in gathering them.

Contact a VAWA Lawyer in San Jose

When you need skilled representation, Getachew & Ansari Immigration Attorneys, P.C. is here to assist you. We assist clients in San Jose and throughout the Bay Area and California.

Contact us online or call 408-292-7995 to begin your case today.

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Our team of experienced immigration attorneys are ready to answer your questions.

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